A reduction in the price of the former Havre de Grace Colored School building will make it possible for two local groups to reach their goal of acquiring the property this year, leaders said.
The good news was announced Saturday morning when Community Projects of Havre de Grace Inc. and the Colored School Foundation held their second annual prayer breakfast fundraiser celebration at the Water's Edge Events Center in Belcamp.
The theme of this year's event was "Honoring the legacy of those who came before us." The keynote speaker was Bert Hash Jr., Havre de Grace Consolidated School Class of 1965 graduate and former president and CEO of the Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore.
Hash ended his talk with a pledge to donate at least $5,000 to the foundation for acquisition of the property on Alliance Street, which was the site of the first high school in Harford County for African-American children.
Community Projects of Havre de Grace and the Colored School Foundation have been working together to acquire the property from the Hirsch family, so the building can be used to preserve the school's history, honor its students and faculty and can serve as a community gathering place and education center.
During his time at the podium, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, joined by Colored School Foundation Chairman Patricia Cole, announced that the Hirsch family has agreed to sell the property to the Colored School Foundation for less than half the original asking price.
Glassman’s administration will be contributing $50,000 toward the purchase effort, administration spokesperson Cindy Mumby said Thursday.
Cole shared a recent email she sent to foundation members and others: "We are delighted to announce good news. After our more than 18 months of earnest work to save the former Havre de Grace Colored School, the owners of the property have agreed to allow the foundation to acquire the building for $150,000. A recent appraisal estimated the true value of the property to be $625,000."
"With closing costs and legal fees, we estimate that we will need approximately $160,000 at closing," Cole's email continued. "The scheduled closing date is on or about February 26, 2018. In other words, we must raise $160,000 in less than 30 days. With your help we can do this!"
Following the announcement and many thanks to the committee for their hard work, a video featuring former students of the Havre de Grace Colored School and Havre de Grace Consolidated School was shown detailing their many memories of their time there.
Other speakers at the breakfast included Colored School Foundation committee members Emil Cromwell, Carol Bruce and Bishop Roger Tatuem. Musical entertainment was provided by Mark Thomas, the Lewis Sisters and Miriam Tatuem.
For more information on how to donate to the foundation visit www.hdgcoloredschool.net/donate or mail donations to P.O. Box 799 Havre de Grace, Md, 21078 and make checks payable to Community Projects of Havre de Grace with Colored School Foundation in the memo line.